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January in the Garden

Getting in the garden in January can be real challenging.  Cold and often nasty weather here make it an unpleasant task most days in January.

A big issue with our garden has been poor soil condition.  We keep adding organic material, compost, and what ever else we can to build the soil up.  It is getting better.

So this season, I have been letting the chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and guineas free access to the garden.  They were quite delighted to clean up the leftovers and did a good job cleaning out the raised beds.  But the rest of the garden, not so much interest.

Here I put out a couple bales of straw.  No chicken can resist fresh straw.  They were immediately in the garden digging and scratching…and fertilizing… with eagerness.  They were even tearing into the second bale before I got it cut loose from the strings.

After tossing the blocks of straw from the bales and the chickens had a few minutes to go at it, the straw was well spread and scattered.

A scoop of chicken scratch strewn around the garden keeps them highly interested and for several days now the flock has barely left the garden area.  They peck up every single bit of the scratch, dig and claw through the straw, ground, and what ever roots are left from the weeds in search for more.